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Drone News Brief | Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

Drone News Brief | Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

April 2, 2019

This is your Drone News Brief for Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019.

Facebook recently explored building bird-size drones loaded with data to help improve internet connections. The project, known as Catalina, aimed to build fixed-wing aircraft capable of carrying media to augment slow internet connections, like 2G. Though the project never took off, Catalina demonstrates the immense potential for drone technology.

Milan's Malpensa Airport was closed for thirty minutes on Monday due to a drone flying near one of the airport’s terminals. Though it’s illegal to fly a drone within 5 KM of an airport per the Italian Civil Aviation Authority, Malpensa saw a similar closure last month when a drone was spotted nearby from the control tower.

The New Zealand government is using drones as part of a larger initiative to combat rat infestation throughout the nation. Authorities plan to use drones to exterminate the rats from above, while mapping their locations in order to place customized poisons and traps on the ground.

On Monday, the Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International, AUVSI, announced the finalists for the second annual XCELLENCE awards. "The XCELLENCE awards recognize companies and individuals who are achieving remarkable results with unmanned systems technology to benefit our communities,” said president and CEO, Brian Wynne. The award winners will be announced at AUVSI XPONENTIAL in late April and early May.

 

Click here to learn more about how WhiteFox is pioneering the safe integration of drones into society, with products that securely manage drones in sensitive airspace worldwide.

Drone News Brief | Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

Drone News Brief | Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

March 27, 2019

This is your Drone News Brief for Wednesday, March 27th, 2019.

On Wednesday, academics from an Israeli university and Fujitsu System Integration Laboratories revealed the results of a new study which examined over 200 techniques and solutions which currently are used to detect and disable drones. The study, which is titled “Security and Privacy Challenges in the Age of Drones,” concluded that current protocols falls short when it comes to cybersecurity.

AlphaPilot, an autonomous drone racing competition sponsored by Lockheed Martin, is offering $1M to the team that builds the fastest autonomous drone. Last year, the fastest fully-autonomous drone to complete the race topped out at 5.6 MPH, while the human-piloted winner moved at a speed faster than 90 MPH. If the A.I. drone beats a top human pilot in a head-to-head race, the team will get an extra $250,000.

On Tuesday, a North Carolina hospital launched a regular drone delivery program to transport blood samples across the campus. This is the first time the Federal Aviation Administration has ever allowed routine drone delivery for commercial purposes, commonly known as “revenue flights.”

For the first time in Australia, anyone who wants to fly a drone will have to be accredited by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. This new license system will be put in place before Google’s parent company, Alphabet, launches the world’s first commercial drone delivery program in Canberra this June.

 

Click here to learn more about how WhiteFox is pioneering the safe integration of drones into society, with products that securely manage drones in sensitive airspace worldwide.

 

Drone News Brief | Monday, March 25th, 2019

Drone News Brief | Monday, March 25th, 2019

March 25, 2019

This is your Drone News Brief for Monday, March 25th, 2019.

In Australia, the Sydney University School of Aerospace is using a drone to prevent birds from eating wine grapes from vineyards. The drone, which is attached with a fake dummy crow, mimics bird behavior by emitting fake distress calls to protect the vines. The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries estimates crop losses caused by birds can lose the country AU$300 million per year.

The Dublin Airport in Ireland is asking plane spotters to keep on the lookout for rogue drones. Recently, plane enthusiasts were handed a flyer that read: “As I am sure you are aware, illegally operated drones around the airfield and the flight paths, pose an extreme danger to aircraft and to the operation of the airport itself.” In late February, Dublin halted all flight operations to do a drone disruption, a growing trend in airports worldwide.

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have invented ports for drones to recharge on top of streetlight poles. Battery life is one of the major obstacles for commercial drone operations, specifically with drone delivery. Drones operating in the system are designed to search for a port using GPS technology, when their battery charge becomes low.

In the US, the Office of the Inspector General is auditing the Department of Justice’s efforts to protect prisons from threats posed by drones. The audit’s primary objectives are to: determine how prisons can detect & track attempts to deliver contraband via drone, and assess the current efforts to combat drones that compromise security.

Click here to learn more about how WhiteFox is pioneering the safe integration of drones into society with products that securely manage drones in sensitive airspace worldwide.

Drone News Brief | Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

Drone News Brief | Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

March 20, 2019

This is your Drone News Brief for Wednesday, March 20th, 2019.

This week a police department in California was the first to be granted Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BLVOS) operations by the FAA. Chula Vista PD’s drone coverage is now extended to nearly 40 miles, while their previous coverage was only 3. No other organization is permitted to fly their drones beyond the Pilot-in-Command’s line-of-sight.

On Tuesday the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) released their newest draft of the Tort Law Relating to Drones Act. The law would give homeowners the right to sue drone operators for flying over their property under certain conditions. The new draft added factors to determine whether incidents of flying should be deemed illegal, such as time flown over the property, whether the drone impeded use or enjoyment of the property, and others. In July of 2018 the first draft of the bill was published, which the drone industry almost unanimously refuted.

A drone provided an aerial view of devastation in Mozambique on Tuesday. More than 1,000 people are feared dead after Cyclone Adai, which tore through the country, submerging entire communities.

An NYPD drone aided police in de-escalating a stand-off with a man who’d barricaded himself in his apartment on Tuesday. The drone hovered outside the man’s apartment and provided a video feed of inside the room. This was crucial in verifying that the man had in fact put down the gun when the unit tasked him to do so.

Drone News Brief | Monday, March 18th, 2019

Drone News Brief | Monday, March 18th, 2019

March 18, 2019

This is your Drone News Brief for Monday, March 18th, 2019.

Drone photography and video of a burning crater nicknamed “The Door to Hell” went viral on Monday. The Darvaza Crater, which can reach temperatures as high as 1,000C, lies in the Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan. The drone footage offers viewers a new perspective of the phenomenon.

An attempt to smuggle drugs into an Irish prison via drone was intercepted last Friday. Officials removed prisoners from the area and retrieved the contraband from netting that was strung above the prison yard. The Irish Prison Service is exploring a number of technological options to deal with the problem, as random searches of cells have uncovered significant quantities of contraband in recent years.

Chinese drone makers are competing to invent and operate the nation’s first solar-powered drone. Most manufacturers have their sights on a solar-powered drone that could operate in near space, the area 20-100 kms above sea level that’s lower than satellites but higher than commercial airliners. This height is ideal because there are no clouds at an altitude of 20 kms and the airflow is stable to harness sunlight.

Switzerland is planning to make it mandatory for drone operators to register themselves and their drones within the next year. The Skyguide, a Geneva-based aerial service provider, recently began testing the management of drones in an aerial surveillance system. Skyguide’s system, U-Space, allows drone pilots to submit their flight plan and receive authorization via an app.

 

Click here to learn more about how WhiteFox is pioneering the safe integration of drones into society with products that securely manage drones in sensitive airspace worldwide.

 
 
Drone News Brief | Thursday, March 14th, 2019

Drone News Brief | Thursday, March 14th, 2019

March 14, 2019

This is your Drone News Brief for Thursday, March 14th, 2019.

BBC News reported Wednesday that the Police Service of Northern Ireland (the PSNI) has used their 6 drones over 370 times since June 2013. The drones have been used for wildfire rescues, to support district policing, for VIP visits, and for missing person operations. The PSNI must report their drone usage data every 6 months to the policing board.

Farmers in New Zealand have started using drones to herd and monitor livestock. The drone hovers near the livestock, playing a recording of dogs barking. One single drone can do the job of multiple dogs, proving to move livestock faster, and with less resistance.

On Wednesday the European Commission adopted a set of rules governing the responsible and sustainable operation of drones in the EU. The rules delineate the obligations of drone operators in terms of overall safety, security and respect for public privacy, noise protection, and the environmental impact of drone use. Drones built in the EU after the implementation of the new rules must bear a unique identification to enable authorities to trace them where necessary.

A postdoctoral associate at Yale University has invented a quadcopter drone that mimics the perching behavior of a bat. The technique could be a future work-around to the limited battery life of drones in cases when they need to recharge, such as in long-haul package delivery. By gripping onto a surface and powering down, the drone is able to conserve between 40 and 70 percent of its energy.

The United States signed a bipartisan bill into law Tuesday that prompts federal agencies to explore increased use of drones in fighting wildfires. Now that the bill is law, the Department of Interior, the Department of Agriculture and the Federal Aviation Administration have six months to ensure the program is up and running.

 

Click here to learn more about how WhiteFox is pioneering the safe integration of drones into society with products that securely manage drones in sensitive airspace worldwide.

Drone News Brief | Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

Drone News Brief | Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

March 12, 2019

This is your Drone News Brief for Tuesday, March 12th, 2019.

Boston Properties, the owner of Salesforce Tower, enlisted a drone to inspect  San Francisco’s tallest building. Standing at 1,070 feet, a traditional inspection would have taken 400 to 500 hours over four to five months--while the drone completed the project over two weekends. Authorities said the project also cost about a third of the human inspections.

General Manager for Intel’s drone group, Anil Nanduri, predicted in an interview with CNET during the All About Autonomy conference that there will be flights with flying cars in 5 years. Charging technology, legislation, and scalability are a few of the major hurdles to wide-scale adoption, Nanduri reported.

A Kickstarter campaign launched Tuesday for a mind-controlled drone. New Atlas writer Loz Blain who got to test the device said, “it’s not perfect, but it does give a glimpse of a mind-controlled future.” This isn’t the first example of a drone that uses brain-machine interface (BMI) technology, though it is one of the first that isn’t meant for military purposes and doesn’t require specific calibration to an individual’s brainwaves.

The UK expanded their no-drone fly zones around airports this week, more than quadrupling the previous radius from 0.6 miles to 3. The new laws are in response to the 30 hour shutdown at Gatwick Airport that happened due to a rogue drone last December. England will also institute a mandatory registration and online test later this year, which is similar to the law that was introduced in the US in 2016.

Academics at Case Western Reserve University launched a 6-foot-wide, 7-foot-long UAV that flew for 171 minutes total in late February. This flight test was the most successful yet, and is possibly an early indication of a future of autonomous UAVs that carry materials for delivery.

 

Click here to learn more about how WhiteFox is pioneering the safe integration of drones into society with products that securely manage drones in sensitive airspace worldwide.

 

Drone News Brief | Tuesday, December 4th, 2018
Drone News Brief | Wednesday, November 28th, 2018
Drone News Brief | Tuesday, November 20th, 2018